[Ontbirds]Port Weller E., Niagara River - 10/21

Animalkid10 at aol.com Animalkid10 at aol.com
Sat Oct 21 17:31:30 EDT 2006

I decided to head out to Port Weller and the Niagara River today  given the 
weather, and it turned out to be a good day overall for waterbird  migration 
along the Lake and also on the River.
  The walk out to the end of the pier at PWE took longer than  expected, 
given the large numbers of Kinglets and the expected (WC, WT, Song,  Swamp, 
Chipping) Sparrows that slowed me down.  Perhaps the highlight of  the day occurred 
on the walk out when I came across a rather late WOOD-PEWEE sp.  foraging in 
the tall cottonwoods near the boat harbor.  Obviously Eastern  would be 
expected, but this late and at a location that has been famous for  producing western 
vagrants, you never know.  Also present were numerous  Hermit Thrushes, 
Myrtle Warblers, Winter Wrens, 1 House Wren, Rusty Blackbirds,  and fly-over Horned 
Larks.  100 + Bonaparte's Gulls were milling about on  the canal and also on 
the Lake.
Some of the Lake-watching highlights:
15+ Common Loons
30+ White-winged Scoters
500+ Red-breasted Mergansers
2 Long-tailed Ducks
2 Mute Swans
I then headed east to Niagara-on-the-Lake, which had numerous (200+)  
Bonaparte's Gulls, at least 5 juv. Common Terns, as well as 3 Richardson's  CACKLING 
GEESE complete with stubby bills and frosted feathers, heading  west with 3 
The Queenston Narrows were my next stop, and as expected, they  were filled 
with Bonaparte's Gulls, from the sand docks to the power  plants, numbering 
easily into 2000+.  Unfortunately, no other small Gull  species were noted 
amongst them.
Above the Falls, highlights were 30+ Northern Rough-wing Swallows, a couple  
Tree Swallows, 1 second-winter Lesser Black-backed Gull on the breakwall; 1  
Sanderling and a large mixed Aythya flock consisting mostly of Greater  Scaup 
with smaller numbers of Lesser Scaup, Canvasback, 1 Bufflehead, and 1  
Long-tailed Duck upstream from the control gates. Also present  were a number of 
American Wigeon and Gadwall.
Jim Pawlicki
Amherst, NY
Port Weller east can be accessed from Seaway Haulage Rd. just east of  the 
bridge over the Welland Canal from Lakeshore Rd. in St. Catharines.   
Niagara-on-the Lake is well signed at the mouth of the Niagara River at Lake  Ontario, 
and Niagara Falls from Niagara-on-the-Lake south along the Niagara  Parkway.

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